February 2014


Introducing Jerald Thunder…….

From sports enthusiast to upcoming movie Star

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Me Firi Ghana caught up with Jerald Thunder a German based upcoming actor and creative director, for a short interview to find out more about the 25 year old, full name – Jerald Jerremiah Falk who is planning big things in the film and music industry in Germany and beyond.

The creative Director at DAYBREAK Entertainment tells of us his plans for the brand and much much more…..

MFG: Where did the ‘Thunder’ in your name originate from?

JT: Oh it was part of a nickname I had as an athlete. I was known as ‘Black Thunder’ and I dropped black and kept Thunder. My Ghanaian names goes like this ‘Jerald’-Adu Sarkodie J

MFG: Tell us a bit more about yourself?

JT: I was born in Germany but lived in Dansoman (Ghana) for three years. I used to be into sports and achieved quite a lot playing American football (Duesseldorf Panther). Later in my sports career I managed to secure a contract with Nike and was into athletics (sprinting) at the time. Sports for me was never a real career choice it was more of a hobby so I left the sports scene and started exploring the world of media in 2012. I took on small acting roles here and there before getting more involved with EOS entertainment (at the time) shooting music videos, doing a bit of commentating and being featured in the ‘agent knight’ web series (check it out ;)). In 2012 EOS entertainment became DAYBREAKER entertainment as we often found ourselves working till daybreak.  2 years on I’m proud to announce that all our hard work has paid off as we have just released our first movie ‘Y.O.N.C’ (You Only Need Christ) watch out for me J.

MFG: Can you tell us a bit more about DAYBREAKER entertainment?

JT:Yeah, DAYBREAKER entertainment is a film and music production company based in Germany and we offer a variety of services ranging from shooing music videos, producing films, covering events to poster and web design and music production.

MFG: So what exactly do you do?

JT: I’m an actor and creative director at DAYBREAKER entertainment. I also study media.

MFG: Where did you grow up?

JT:I was born in Saarbruecken (Germany) but moved to Essen (Germany) at the age of 7 before moving to live in Ghana in 1999 for three years.

MFG: Do you speak any of the Ghanaian languages?

JT: Yes of course Charle, I speak Twi and Fante.

MFG: What’s your favourite Ghanaian dish?

JT: Hmm.. eto with enkatie is by far one of the greatest dishes, the first time I had it I almost died- it was THAT GOOD! But too be fair I love eating most Ghanaian dishes but I’m not so keen on banku and fufuo.

MFG: Do you think it’s important to have a role model?

JT: Yes! It’s a must! It doesn’t only help you to keep motivated but it also allows you to strive to achieve even more than your model may have achieved.

MFG: Can you share with us your favourite motivation line?

‘Who am I? I’m a champion’ J.

MFG: Had you heard of Me Firi Ghana before?

JT: No, but now I know a bit more about what you guys are all about.

MFG: Are you proud to state ‘Me Firi Ghana’?

JT:Definitively! Since 2006 it has become my tradition to order the lasted BLACKSTAR jerseys to represent! I’m very proud to be from Ghana.

MFG: How can people keep in touch with you and follow your latest movements?

JT: I’m on Twitter and instagram @jeraldthunder but there is also my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jerald-Falk/108091812579706?fref=ts and the DAYBREAKER entertainment’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Daybreaker.Ent to keep up with what we are doing.

Nora Mistersky (@Ms_Nora_M)

Introducing Ameyaw Debrah..

The Celebrity Blogger

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At 32 years of age, Ameyaw Debrah is already a mainstay in the journalism and social media sectors in Ghana, he garners the kind of respect in this field more akin to a veteran over his half age . His potential shone through early when he won the award for best publishing student whilst studying at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 2005.

The award provided a platform for Debrah to work with Ovation International Magazine whilst striking an agreement with the NSS (National Service Scheme) doing his national service. After his service he stayed on at Ovation and began contributing to the Star Newspaper as a columnist.

In 2007 Debrah became the entertainment editor for Ghanaweb and was in this position until 2009 when he decided to create his own website. Since its inception the sit has gone from strength to strength and has solidified Debrah as among the top celebrity/entertainment news bloggers in Ghana. His work has taken him all over the world to cover events  where he has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and beyond such  as Kofi Annan, Belle Rose, Trey Songz, Amber Rose, Ludacris, Coptic, Wyclef, Mario. He has gained recognition from the Ghanaian diaspora in the UK when he was nominated for a GUBA in 2012

Debrah has also been active in the television industry in Ghana. He contributes to Star Gist, an entertainment segment on AfricaMagic show that airs on the satellite channel DSTV, as a Skype correspondent. He also shares entertainment news Ghana. on EbonyLife TV an entertainment segment show which also airs on DSTV station.

In 2013 he won the Ghana Social Media Awards for Best Showbiz and Entertainment Blog; and the City People Entertainment Awards for Best Blogger or online reporter (Ghana). 

Debrah has turned the dream that manifested at University into reality and continues to be a positive personality in Ghana,He is a Malta Guinness Ambassador deal for the Africa Rising Campaign and also created another campaign, his own called my Ghana campaign in which he invites his readers to create one minute videos discussing relevant issues in Ghana

 A definite pioneer in his field, Ameyaw Debrah, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 Me Firi Ghana recently caught up with the celebrity blogger himself  far a brief interview, see below for how it went;

MFG: What made you want to start your very own website: ameyawdebrah.com?

AD: It was actually a joke. my friend offered to get me my own domain and host for me so we jokingly said lets call it ameyawdebrah.com but once I started providing content on it, it caught on and I stuck with it to build it.

MFG: You seem like a thick-skinned person, even in the face of criticisms or unwanted attention. How do you personally deal with pressures that come with being in the spotlight yourself?

AD: I’m naturally a shy person so I surprise myself with how I’m able to cope with the public attention – good or bad. I have a good sense of humour so I use that to escape some of the criticism and I’ am my own worst critic, so people can hardly bring me down. I try to be cheerful when people give me attention and I’m a pleasant person so I just wear a smile, give a handshake or a hug and I’m done. Lol

MFG:D o you still get starstruck when interviewing celebrities?

I no longer have any nervousness when I meet or interview celebs (well it depends on the celebrity lol). Most of the time I worry more about what to ask in order to make my interviews stand out and interesting.

MFG: What do you like the most about being a Ghanaian?

AD: I like being a Ghanaian because I find myself in a unique space that is constantly growing with global trends, and I’m particularly happy to be seen as contributing to some of these trends.

MFG: In the past you introduced an Iphone app ‘AmeyawBuzz’; in 2012, you formed ‘The Ameyaw Debrah talent hunt’. Now in 2014, is there anything you are definitely aiming to accomplish, that we should be in the lookout for?

AD: This year ameyawdebrah.com is 5 years and I’m innovating with new ideas to celebrate people who have been with me along the journey. I plan to have new and more exciting apps to embody the work I do and new technologies. I want to form new partnerships, travel more and see what is happening particularly in other countries of Africa. I have launched the myghanacampaign calling for people to send in short videos sharing their stories about Ghana. I plan to reward about 10 of the best stories by the end of the year.

Myriam Osei (@Angelpeacejoy)

 

Introducing Gifty Anti….

The Fabulous Mrs Anti – Champion of Women’s Rights

Indisputably one of Ghana’s finest broadcasters, Gifty Anti is famously known for her popular show The ‘Standpoint’ and her burning passion for women’s rights.

It has been reported that Gifty has resigned from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) after serving as a host for 16 years. She also announced that as from the 1st January 2014, she will be the chief employer of Gifty Dansoa Anti (GDA) Concepts Ltd.  It is believed that her show ‘The Standpoint’ will continue to appear on GTV. Having recently celebrated her 17th  anniversary as a presenter, Gifty wrote some encouraging words on the Standpoint facebook page inspiring the young people to be focused and zealous about their work. She recalls how she wept after being given a brutal critique when she first appeared on GTV’s breakfast show. She was told: ‘‘She was beautiful enough to decorate the set, but not intelligent enough for the programme.’’

Those motivating words stuck with her for the rest of her life. She went on to develop a successful TV career for an outstanding 16 years at Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). Today the unstoppable Gifty is working for the Gifty Dansoa Anti (GDA) Concepts Limited, s rights hosted by Dr Gifty and is aired on Ghana Television. The show deals with issues affecting women in social, political, cultural, traditional, health, and leadership areas.

The Standpoint is unique in its own right and is highly rated amongst Africans and other nationalities because not only are the issues talked about, but support and help are sought for the victims or survivors of abuse and societal injustice. The show has won many awards deservedly so.  As  the host Gifty was honoured in June 2013 with an “Excellence Award for Giving Women a Platform and a Voice,” at the African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) conference in Akwa Ibo, Nigeria. She was also given the title as the “Influential woman of the Year” award in 2012 by the African women of worth awards and Queens Magazine.

Mrs Anti has inspired a generation of Ghanaian women during her time in media. Here are some further words of motivation from her;

‘‘The question is: What are people saying about what you do? Do you love what you do? With God, nothing is impossible. You can achieve your dreams only if you believe, work hard and stay focused and trust God… My journey continues… Will you continue yours? On my 17th anniversary as a presenter, I hope my story inspires and motivates you to do what you love to do despite the challenges.’’

What one can learn from this inspirational lady is that destiny is a journey. Along our journey, we need to take the time to find out what really stirs us. When we figure out what it is, we discover our purpose.

Adwoa Asiedu  (@AdwoaAsiedu777)

Pregnant school girls should be punished – “Educationist”- REALLY?

Why Madam Bernadette Banongwie’s statement is discriminatory

Three months ago a news article from Ghana left me so gob smacked I just had to commentate on it.

In November 2013 Madam Bernadette Banongwie, a female (YES! – it needed to be highlighted) Deputy Director of Education made the following statement; that girls who get pregnant through ‘consensual sex’ (erm…, ok), should be severely punished

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“The government is investing so much in the education of the girl-child, so any girl who decides to waste such resources through loose morals (:O!!!), should be made to pay back,” she explained. This statement was made at the inauguration of Girl Clubs Executives at Nadowli in the Nadowli- Kaleo District of the Upper West Region- incredibly empowering … not! But isn’t her job as an advocate for education to fight for equal educational opportunities for ALL – boys and girls- without discriminating!?

I know that having a child out of wedlock alone is rarely tolerated within the Ghanaian community how much more a ‘teenage pregnancy’ (- eish there’ll be FIRE on the mountain!!!)?! HOWEVER on a more serious note it’s a reality that we have to start ‘dealing’ with appropriately as girls as young as 10 are reportedly dropping out of basic school as a result of getting pregnant.

ANYWAY – how much more is the Ghanaian government investing in a “girl-child” than a “boy- child” again??? We have reached the 21st century and such differences are still being made?! Have these people not heard of ‘when you educate a girl, you educate a whole nation’ -it must be an investment worth while! The most provoking element of Madam Bernadette Banongwie’s message was that the “girl-child” would be the only one to suffer any consequences if such punishments were to be implemented! But why…why are teenage girls that become pregnant solely blamed for their condition? It almost seems as though girls can indeed-get pregnant all by themselves!

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They are branded ‘bad girls’ at the mercy of society’s contempt! Without trying to encourage schoolgirls to get pregnant… teenage pregnancy is NOT a crime (!) and it should not be the burden of the girl alone or result in girls having to miss out on their right to an education! Surely a more sensitive approach would be more effective at tackling the problem and “serve as deterrent to their peers” such as adequate (complete) and effective sexual education! It is a well known fact that our culture still frowns on open discussions of sex with children, which is the only way to reduce the teenage pregnancy rate in Ghana. The importance to make these children aware of the consequences of indulging in early (unprotected) sex does not seem a priority! Whilst the issue of talking openly about sex is being avoided (for a number of reasons, which is a whole different post) the mass media and Internet are becoming more effective in exposing children to sex without any parallel effort being made to inform them on its implications and how they can be avoided!

The director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Mr Stephen Adu has confirmed that such punishments to pregnant schoolgirls will NOT be implemented in schools as he acknowledged that the problem of teenage pregnancy in Ghana is multi-factorial and needed to be addressed carefully.

Success is not pre-determined and it’s not a destination either it’s a journey of striving towards goals – “your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start” (Nido Quebein).

RANT over!

Nora Mistersky (@Ms_Nora_M)

Introducing Catherine Arhin..

The Woman behind Arhinarmah

Me Firi Ghana caught up with Catherine Arhin the founder of Arhinarmah.  An ambitious lady in her  early thirties. Catherine was born and raised in West London, but her family originate from Assin Kumasi in Ghana. She gives us an insight into how she got started, her love for her culture and what’s next.

1) What is Arhinarmah and how did it begin? Arhinarmah is London based homeware/ home decor brand offering African accented products for your home such as handmade cushions, lampshades and bespoke furniture. We also offer a upholstery service, and provide bespoke pieces of furniture from scratch (including the wooden framework). All our items are handmade to order and we use traditional methods of joinery in the production of all our pieces . We’re based in London where I head up a team of 5 staff.

Arhinarmah was ‘conceived’ in January 2012. I developed it after working for a variety of private and public sector organisations over a 10 year period. I wanted to apply my first hand experience in business to create an entity that was a reflection of my cultural identity. My parents are Ghanaian, so I’m fiercely proud of my heritage and culture. At the same time I’m very much a Londoner and take great pride in having grown up in this city. London is one of the world’s creative hubs. It’s a veritable melting pot of cultures and ‘old England’ is synonymous for its quality in relation to textiles and production methods. The label combines the quality, with the colours, symbols and vibrancy of Ghanaian culture.

 2) How did you discover and  explore your creative side? It was always there. As a five year old I would draw on walls whenever I ran out of paper. As an 8 year old I would write stories involving my classmates – they loved them so much the teacher would keep them in the book corner for everyone to read. As a teenager I harboured dreams of being an interior designer, a stylist, a hairdresser. I’m always experimenting with colour so my house is a show home – each room has it’s own colour palette. My living room was Navy well before it became popular. I suppressed my creativity for a long time after I had my son and never considered going into a creative industry as a ‘serious’ profession. The expectation when I was growing up was for me to become a Lawyer, Doctor or Accountant. I feel that people often have to make a decision between taking up an occupation that ‘pays the bills’ versus taking on a ‘softer’ occupation that they might enjoy. I did that for a long time.

3) Could you talk us through Arhinarmah’s collections? They are all named after places in Ghana or people who have had an impact on me in some way;

The Joseph collection: There are three generations of ‘Joseph’ within my family. My Grandfather (the label muse) was called Joseph Armah. My Mother was called Josephine, and my son is also called Joseph.

The Jamestown collection: Jamestown is the Ghanaian coastal town that my mother’s family settled in after relocating from Aburi.

The Accra Collection: Features a distinctive Kente print pattern – and the bright colours represent vibrancy, hustle and bustle of Ghana’s biggest city.

4) What do you love about your culture? Ghana: The colours. The textiles. The symbols. The tradition. Afrobeats. Old school Ghana parties. London: The mobility. The choice. The diversity.

 5) How has Arhinarmah become involved with WAM, & why must others also get involved? This is demonstrated in the inspirational talks that I get involved in (in schools and at start up networking events) and also in us being awarded the Blue Butterfly by award winning organisation Positive Luxury. We began donating on a monthly basis to the WAM Campaign from June 2013 mainly because it shares many similarities with our organisation (ie affecting positive change and having a connection with both Ghana and the UK).